Citizen Hunter, Flavia Colgan and You2Gov

Monday, March 9, 2009

What You2Gov means to You and the Gov

I was going to let you guys know about this great group, You2Gov, and then realized, one of its founders was a Facebook friend (and one in real life too). So I figured he would do a better job — Alan Silberberg, take it away!

When I started You2Gov with the co-founder last April, America was still getting over the possibility that “Super Delegates” might decide the Democratic side of the race. This was the catalyst for the original creation of the site. The idea that a “chosen few” would decide such a momentous thing was just too much. It went against everything we have been taught about our democratic process.

But when we started to think about what kind of Country the Founding Fathers had envisioned, it became clear that there was a much larger question: How do normal, everyday people communicate in a real way with their Elected Officials? To many of us this seems like an abstraction. Most Americans have never met any of their politicians. Some have seen them in a crowded room with lots of other people. But how many of us can honestly state that we communicate with our leaders, and that they hear us and respond?

By analyzing over a thousand websites, it became clear that in order for people to take more control of their civic lives through online advocacy, tools were needed to make that as easy as online banking, online dating or using Craigslist to sell something. I felt that by building a social network like Facebook, but devoted to the political process and civic life; more people would find themselves enabled to take control over their civic lives, maybe for the first time in their life.

When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia all those years ago at Independence Hall, all sides were heard from. There was honest debate, interaction. What came out of that hot July Summer were the universal frameworks for Constitutions and Declarations of Independence since copied worldwide. What has happened since? The U.S. Political System has become more and more closed off to the regular folks, the families, the taxpayers who foot the ever increasing bills. If you are a big donor – skip this sentence. But to the majority of Americans, our Government seems more and more distant.

Not anymore. Technology allows us to bring our political system back to a place where the power flows from the people, to the people, by the people as was intended. By using cutting edge social networking tools, You2Gov is now able to offer secure communications in a spam-free environment with your elected officials at the State, and Federal levels, including State House, Governors, State Constitutional Officers, Congress, The Senate and White House. Technology also allows us to bring together Legislative Tracking, C ongressional Committee Reports, other Government documents all in the same place as our Contact Your Representative custom made engine.

What has happened over the past few months? We have witnessed a massive upheaval in our Banking, Political and Business systems throughout the Country. How much of this happened because the People were not actively involved in the oversight process, thus allowing these massive failures under our collective noses. Don’t let your Government run things without your knowledge. After all, we are all shareholders of the United States. Register for free on You2Gov and become a self-empowered citizen. Let your Government hear from you. Often.


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